Say the word content today and creatives begin to get ‘shiny object syndrome’ thinking about parallax microsites, bespoke graphics, large-scale competitions, videos and data-driven pieces.
In short, grand designs. However, you wouldn’t build your dream house without asking the architect to draw the plans first.
The same is true of online content: without foundations, it’s worth little. Onsite editorial and engaging blog content are the building blocks that allow large, shiny high-concept campaigns to succeed, and here’s why.
Laying the bricks and mortar: landing page copy
Any business thinking about creative content should look first to investing in their website landing pages. Search engines are rewarding sites with unique content that is deemed relevant to the target audience.
Longform copy is now a must alongside the use of key phrases relevant to your core themes. Identify why competing sites rank well too.
Creating natural landing page copy that is applicable to the brand messaging of a business should help to increase rankings, alongside elements like strong H1 titles, imagery with alt descriptions, correct coding within a CMS and interlinking between pages.
Ensure that you update this copy in-line with search engine updates – the content will weather over time so brands and agencies need to prioritise maintenance.
Finding a good builder: quality content
I was recently asked a question that made me choke on my tea: 'Can you buy 200 – 300 words of content for $5?' The answer to this question is probably yes, but why would you bother?
The words you get back will add no value and may in fact be penalised by search engines.
Generic, duplicated content is everywhere, but it contributes nothing to your online presence.
Paying a writer, or your agency, to produce unique, inspiring content will lead to better rankings and eventually conversions.
Adding a conservatory: the blog
Once you have your home, after a few months you might think about enhancing this with a conservatory or converting an attic space.
The online equivalent would be setting up a blog that allows you to look out and others to look in.
Create an editorial calendar and post regularly – search engines reward websites with up-to-date blogs that link back to primary landing pages. It’s also important to consider different formats and themes for editorial content: you could do an interview, write a how to guide, obtain data for an article, curate content etc.
Blogs provide a space to engage with an audience and they connect to other channels like social media profiles. Launching the large shiny creative campaigns on a blog that already has regular readers will pay dividends in the long run.
You will also be able to use this forum to find out audience likes and dislikes, ultimately developing and shaping large campaigns around them.
Standing out from the crowd: establishing brand voice
You don’t need to have the biggest house in the world to be unique. Sometimes small, identifying features work just as well.
Focusing on editorial content is a chance for businesses to really establish a tone of voice and brand identity.
What message and themes are you trying to convey to your customers, or your client’s customers? What language should you use to display this?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can bond with consumers, before increasing the scale to flashier, design-led content.
Creativity doesn’t only apply to graphics or interactive pieces, the words that go alongside them can be creative too.
Small is beautiful: micro-copy and calls to action
Finally we get to the small details – adding the metaphorical taps and light fittings, the door handles and skirting boards.
Micro-copy is the content consumers barely notice: the words on drop-down menus, breadcrumb categories and buttons, or similar.
However, both agencies and clients should not neglect the value that this micro-copy can bring since it enhances user experience.
Simple calls to action on buttons, for example, can lead directly to conversions.
Alternatively you might be guiding users through a competition, or encouraging them to click through to another part of the website. Editorial content is the foundation upon which everything else stands.
Get the essentials in place and you will have the perfect home for the latest multi-faceted, impressive content format.
Charlotte Evans, head of editorial, Caliber
Tel: 0207 841 9100